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· Tartan 27' owner
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I don't think you have been exactly "negative" councilor Rubin. You have strong feelings about the F Scott and have given well thought out replies to backup your assertions.
I know that the Lightning is an older design too and you say you have sailed them a bit so I am a little puzzled why this was not one of your possible boats for the OP?

I had a older Lightning (#10,xxx) for a few years and while it was rigged for racing I found it was not always necessary to use ALL the controls to sail the boat. Stepping the mast takes a bit of work but it was a fun sailor once set up. I doubt you would need a motor on a boat like this as it will sail in <2 knots of wind. Paddles would be more appropriate than an outboard engine.
You can find older Lightnings for sale here well below your stated price range:
Used Lightnings
 

· Tartan 27' owner
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I never raced my Lightning so my experience is quite different from Mr. Ruben Esq. The Lightning I had was made by Clark, not a prime mfr per se, and was from 1976 according to the folks at the ILCA.
I got mine for $1K with a rusty trailer, Lightning in barely riggable shape & 2 sets of well raced sails & spinnaker. It was still a fun boat to sail and was a plastic hull. I added a spin pole and got to use it once flying north across Long Island Sound. What a blast!

Some Lightning owners used empty gallon jugs of water under the gunnels to add buoyancy. I never got around to that. I never capsized the boat. Even kept at a mooring a season or two. Yes, the Lightning is quite sensitive about where your body weight is in a gust but you have ways to mitigate the ensuing heel from a gust: release the main sheet &/or move your butt up higher on/over the windward deck.
 
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